Hilda Mason, the best financed candidate in next Tuesday's special D.C. City Council election, has lent or contributed $14,000 to her own campaign committee, according to reports she and four other candidates filed yesterday with the D.C. Board of elections and Ethics.
Mason's private money, along with $500 donated by her husband Charles, accounts for two-thirds of the $21,452 contributed so far to Mason's campaign fund. She is the endorsed candidate of the D.C. Statehood Party.
The 61-year-old former cschool board member earned less than $5,000 last year. The $14,000 put into her campaign Mason said in an interview yesterday, came from a personal checking account she keeps at the National Bank of Washington to use for house-hold expenses and personal expenditures, including contributions to human rights and charitable organizations.
Mason said the checking account usually has a balance of $10,000 or more. The money comes from her husband Charles, she said, a retired lawyer with considerable real estate holdings and other investments.
In apparent violation of the city's conflict-of-interest law, no such checking account was listed among the more than $81,000 in personal assets Mason reported in a required financial disclosure form filed with the bored May 16.
Charles Mason, who advised his wife on preparation fo that form, said yesterday the omission was not intentional. If it is determined to be wrong, he said an amended report, which would also include an unlisted $3,000 savings account, would be filed.
The candidate's husband would not disclose the amount of the couple's joint annual income except to say that it was "substantially more" than the $14,500 amount given to the Mason campaign so far.
The contribution does not violate the city's campaign financing law because there are no operative limits on the amount of money candidates and their spouses can give to their own campaigns, according to Winfred R. Mundle, general counsel to the elections board.
The report shows that Mason received $9,734 between July 1 and July 13, including $700 given last week by Decpac, the political action committee of the D.C. Medical Association. Not included in the report filed yesterday is an estimated $3,500 that the Mason organization took in during a $50-a-person fund raising event on July 12 given by Democrats for Mason.
Independent City Council Candidate Susan Truitt reported raising $3,975 since her last report was filed, bringing Trutt's total contributions and loans so far to $16,685.
Republican Paul Hays reported receiving an additional $945 to bring his total contributions to $7,392. All of the donations to Hays were of $100 or less.
Independent Barbara Sizemore received by nearly $1,500 during the past 10 days, including $50 from D.C. Department including $50 from D.C. Department of Recreation director William H. Rumsey. Independent candidate Richard R. Clark reported having lent $2000 to his won committee and also reported an outstanding printing fill of $1,200.
The reports are required to be filed five days before the elections and are the last financial accounting before the ballots are cast. No reports were immediately available for Statehood Party candidates Leo A. Murray and Frank E. Sewell Jr., Independent Wade Jefferson, Susan Pennington of the U.S. Labor Party, and James Clark of the Ji Lunaa.